MBA Certificate in Nonmarket Strategy Opens a Door into D.C. Resources at Intersection of Business, Public Policy

An aerial view of District of Columbia. and the Potomac River from Georgetown.

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Just two weeks after the House Judiciary Committee advanced its inquiry into the four tech giants – Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google – by asking over 80 companies how their businesses may have been harmed through anticompetitive behavior, Georgetown’s Center for Business and Public Policy convened a panel on Capitol Hill about debates and tensions in antitrust policy in big tech.

The timely event, which featured five antitrust experts, was a perfect example of how Georgetown leverages its location in Washington, D.C., to provide thought leadership at the intersection of business and public policy. The panel also was one among the selection of events that MBA students in the Certificate in Nonmarket Strategy program are required to attend each semester to take advantage of the rich resources the city offers at this intersection.

The Certificate in Nonmarket Strategy was created in 2016 to offer students a deeper understanding of the ways in which business and leadership are shaped by regulatory, legal, political, cultural, and social forces beyond the market.

“Today, many strategic business decisions are made not only to better serve customers, but also in response to regulations or government guidance. Future business leaders should be aware of this powerful dynamic and learn how best to incorporate nonmarket strategy into their business strategy,” said Carolyn Dombrowski (MBA’20).

Open to Full-time and Flex MBAs, the program brings to campus senior leaders from the private and public sectors and requires students to head off campus to attend nine “only in D.C.” events hosted by organizations like the Brookings Institution, Center for Strategic and International Studies, as well as government agency and Congressional hearings and U.S. Supreme Court sessions open to the public.

“The certificate allows Georgetown University students to distinguish themselves from other MBA students around the country and to create opportunities for our students to interact with people who are players in the debate — legislators, regulators, policymakers, and businesspeople,” said John Mayo, faculty director of the MBA Certificate in Nonmarket Strategy and the Elsa Carlson McDonough Chair of Business Administration. “That exposure creates a sophistication in our students for dealing with 21st century business issues.”

The heightened understanding of the relationship among these different sectors appealed to Andrew Miller (MBA/MSFS’20) and directly correlated to his summer internship at EY.

“Particularly in a mergers and acquisitions context, I found clients constantly thinking about public perception, regulators, and social implications for deals,” said Miller, who will return to EY as a senior consultant after graduation. “The certificate program changed the way I think about the role of business in society, and I continue to find myself drawing on frameworks from the program.”

More than 100 Hill staffers — and a number of Georgetown MBA students — attended the September antitrust panel discussion at the Rayburn House Office Building.

“Over the past year, I’ve attended Senate hearings about the regulation of prescription drug pricing and even said hello to a few senators in the hallway on the way to the hearings. Future business decisions will be guided by the consensus within these hearings, and the Nonmarket Strategy Program provides a remarkable opportunity to experience these conversations firsthand,” said Dombrowski. “It has been the highlight of my Georgetown MBA.”